Tottenham travel to Hull City wanting to put their experience against Manchester City behind them and to strengthen their Premier League position and so add to their sequence of five consecutive away wins in the Premier League.
Team: Lloris; Walker, Dawson, Vertonghen, Rose; Lennon, Bentaleb, Paulinho, Eriksen; Adebayor, Soldado Subs: Friedel, Kaboul, Naughton, Capoue, Chadli, Sigurdsson, Kane
This will be the third meeting between Tottenham and Hull this season. Hull troubled Spurs in both previous games at White Hart Lane at the end of October. They lost to a disputed penalty in the League and it took a penalty shoot-out to decide the Capital One Cup tie after Spurs had scored a late equaliser through Harry Kane in extra time.
Tottenham’s League Record At Hull (inc. PL)
P 9 W 3 D 1 L 5 For 11 Ag 11
Tottenham’s only two games at Hull in the Premier League have ended in victories. The first was in February 2009 and was a crucial win at a time when Spurs were still struggling to recover from the poor start to the season which had seen the departure of Juande Ramos with Harry Redknapp coming in as manager. During those opening 8 games under Ramos, Hull had won at White Hart Lane when they scored the only goal of the game after ten minutes and held on to take the points.
The 2 – 1 win at Hull came through goals scored by Aaron Lennon and Jonathan Woodgate. Lennon had give Spurs the lead early in the game but Hull quickly equalised. Woodgate’s winner came with five minutes to play with a header from a cross by Benoit Assou-Ekotto.
The last match at Hull was in the following August when Spurs made the perfect start to the new season with 4 consecutive wins. They defeated Hull 5 – 1 in their first away game with Jermain Defoe scoring a hat-trick. Defoe opened the scoring after 10 minutes and Wilson Palacios scored his first and only goal for Spurs four minutes later. Hull pulled a goal back midway through the half but Defoe increased Spurs advantage just before half-time. Robbie Keane scored in the second half and Defoe completed his hat-trick in the final minute.
Hull are currently 13th in the League with 23 points. Such is the competition in the lower half of the table that they are only 4 points ahead of West Ham in 18th position. Hull have won 5 of their home games, including a 6 – 0 win over Fulham in late December. They have drawn 3 games and lost 3 with 15 goals scored and 8 conceded. They have taken the same number of points at home as Spurs from one fewer match but have a superior goal difference record, scoring 15 with only 8 conceded.
Hull also defeated Norwich, West Ham and Sunderland at home (all 1 – 0) and they recorded a 3 – 1 success over Liverpool in early December. Their home draws have been against Cardiff City (1 – 1) and scoreless draws against Aston Villa and Stoke City. On Boxing Day Hull were two goals up against Manchester United after 13 minutes only to lose 2 – 3. The other home defeats were against Crystal Palace (0 – 1) in November and Chelsea (0 – 2) in their last home match when they conceded two second half goals.
Hull have lost 5 of their last 6 league games. The run started with the game against United and apart from the win over Fulham they have lost four in a row including at Palace last weekend. They have, however, progressed to the 5th Round of the FA Cup with away wins at Middlesbrough and Southend United (both 2 – 0).
Hull’s leading goalscorer is Robbie Brady with 4 goals. Matty Fryatt has 3 and as has Shane Long. Tom Huddlestone broke his scoring drought against Fulham and was finally able to visit the barber’s for a short back and sides.
Danny Rose’s appeal against his sending off against City has been upheld so he is available to play this afternoon. Jan Vertonghen, Paulinho and Younes Kaboul have also recovered from injury. Mousa Demeble who went off at half-time on Wednesday evening is also available while the young winger, Kenneth McEvoy has travelled with the party. Sandro and Andros Townsend are still unavailable due to injury.
For Hull Steve Harper will be in goal after the dismissal of Allan McGregor in the defeat against Palace. Jake Livermore is ineligible so Stephen Quinn could start. Nikica Jelavić signed from Everton could make his home debut, a player who has scored against Spurs for Everton.
This is a game Spurs will want to win to ensure they are in a position to make a challenge for Champions League finish come next May.